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When it comes to choosing the best Mini PC for Plex server, there are several factors to consider. Processing power, storage capacity, and connectivity options are crucial elements that determine the performance of the Mini PC. With the right device, you can effortlessly stream your favourite movies, TV shows, and music to multiple devices simultaneously creating a personalized entertainment hub.
In this list, I will show you a wide array of Mini PCs, each with its unique features and capabilities. These compact powerhouses pack a punch with their robust processors and ample storage options. Whether you have a large media library or prefer transcoding on the fly, these Mini PCs can handle the demands of a Plex server with ease.
In addition to their compact size, these Mini PCs often come equipped with HDMI ports, USB slots, and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to seamlessly connect to your home network and other devices. Furthermore, their sleek and stylish designs complement any living space, blending in seamlessly with your existing home theatre setup.
Here’s a summary of the Best Mini PC for Plex Server:
|Mini PC for Plex Server||Link to Product|
|MINISFORUM EliteMini TH80||See details at Amazon|
|GEEKOM Mini IT11||See details at Amazon|
|Beelink SEI11 Mini PC||See details at Amazon|
|Beelink SEi8||See details at Amazon|
Note: Some manufacturers tend to change the internal components like the WiFi chipset or processor without changing the product name or model number. Therefore, thoroughly check the specifications of the Mini PC before purchasing.
System Requirements for Plex Server
Before diving into the list of best Mini PC Plex, let’s have a look at what kind of specs the Mini PC will require for it to work as a Plex server.
CPU – Minimum Intel Core i3 (or equivalent) or faster is required. However, the choice of processor will depend on your usage and how many users are connecting to your Plex server simultaneously. Also, it is recommended to choose an Intel processor that has Intel Quick Sync Video support for smooth transcoding.
RAM – A minimum of 2 GB is required if you are running Plex on a Linux distro. If you are running it on Windows you should go with a minimum of 4 GB. If you plan to do other things on the Mini PC along with using it as a Plex server, then you may require more RAM.
OS – Plex media server is compatible with all popular operating systems like Windows (Windows 10 or newer), MacOS (macOS 10.13 High Sierra or newer) and Linux (Ubuntu 16 or newer, CentOS 7 or newer). For detailed and up-to-date information about OS compatibility, check the official website of Plex.
Network Connectivity – Although older WiFi standards will also work, for the best wireless experience, it is advisable to have the latest WiFi 6 or 6E. As for the wired connection, having a 1GbE LAN port (which is very common nowadays) will be beneficial.
Best Mini PC for Plex Server
The first Mini PC for Plex server on this list is the MINISFORUM EliteMini TH80. It is powered by an Intel Core i7 11800H processor that has 8 cores / 16 Threads with a base frequency of 2.30 GHz and a max turbo frequency of up to 4.60 GHz.
This mini pc is available in multiple RAM and storage variants. The one I am mentioning here ships with 16GB RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD storage. Although 16 GB RAM is more than enough for a Plex server, you can also choose a barebone variant (No RAM, No SSD) and provide your RAM and SSD for maximum customizability.
TH80 also supports triple 4k video output at 60Hz via the HDMI, Display and USB Type-C ports. It also has five USB 3.2 ports, one 3.5mm combo jack, one Headphone Jack and one Microphone jack. As for wired and wireless connectivity, TH80 has one 2.5 GbE LAN port along with built-in WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
If you looking for a mini pc for Plex server that supports multiple transcodes, then MINISFORUM TH80 will be the best choice.
Features of MINISFORUM EliteMini TH80:
- Intel Core i7 11800H processor (8 Cores / 16 Threads).
- Dual-channel RAM can be upgraded to a total of 64GB.
- Supports 4K Display output at 60Hz.
- WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 are included.
- Available in Barebone Variant.
GEEKOM Mini IT11 is equipped with a Quad-Core Intel Core i7-11390H with 8 threads and base frequency and max turbo frequency of up to 3.40 GHz and 5.0 GHz respectively.
The IT11 has multiple RAM and storage variants available, so you can choose the one that suits your needs. The Dual channel DDR4 slots can be upgraded up to a total of 64GB. This will be helpful if you’re also doing other things on the Mini PC than just setting it up as a Plex server.
It also has integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics along with support for 8K and 4K display resolutions through the HDMI, Mini Display and two USB 4 ports. Other I/O ports include three USB 3.2 ports, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, one SD card reader and one RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. For wireless connectivity, IT11 features WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 which is powered by Intel AX201 Wireless chipset.
With the AX201 wireless chipset, you will not run into any WiFi-related issues when running Linux distros. Overall, GEEKOM Mini IT11 is a great choice for those who are planning to set up any kind of small home server including Plex.
Features of GEEKOM Mini IT11:
- Intel Core i7-11390H CPU (4 Cores / 8 Threads).
- Maximum upgradable RAM up to 64 GB.
- Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics.
- Support for 8k and 4k display resolutions.
- AX201 powered WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
- Compatible with popular Linux Distros.
Beelink SEI11 features an 11th Generation Intel Processor. The i5- 11320H has 4 Cores / 8 Threads offering a base frequency of 3.20 GHz and a max turbo frequency of up to 4.50 GHz.
This Mini PC is loaded with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 500GB SSD storage. The RAM uses a dual channel slot in which each slot can be upgraded up to 32GB. This provides you with the option of upgrading the RAM up to a maximum of 64 GB.
Some other notable features of SEI11 include Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 4k at 60Hz, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. As for the ports, two HDMI ports, one Type-C port, two USB 3 ports, two USB 2 ports, one 1 GbE LAN port and one audio jack are included.
If you are looking for a mini pc to run a plex server in the segment of i5 processors, then check out Beelink SEI11 Mini PC.
Features of Beelink SEI11:
- Intel i5- 11320H Processor (4 Cores / 8 Threads).
- Maximum RAM is upgradable to 64 GB.
- Intel Iris Xe Graphics.
- Support 4k at 60Hz.
- WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are included.
Another Beelink Mini PC for plex server on this list, this one is Beelink SEi8 which has Intel Core i5 8259U Processor. This CPU has 4 Cores / 8 Threads with a base frequency of 2.30 GHz and a max turbo frequency of up to 3.80 GHz.
Although it’s an old Mini PC with an 8th Gen Intel processor, if you just want a mini pc to handle 720p or 1080p transcodes, then SEi8 will work just fine.
As for RAM and storage, the variant I am mentioning here ships with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 500GB NVME SSD storage. The RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 32 GB.
SEi8 features an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 and supports Dual 4k Displays via dual HDMI ports. Other ports on this device include one Type-C port, four USB 3.0 ports, one audio jack and one 1 GbE LAN port. There is also built-in WiFi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.
If you are in the market for a budget-friendly Mini PC for Plex server, then SEi8 will be the most suitable option.
Features of Beelink SEi8:
- Intel Core i5 8259U Processor (4 Cores / 8 Threads).
- Maximum RAM is upgradable to 32 GB.
- Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 GPU.
- Supports Dual 4k Display.
- Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
- Budget-friendly Mini PC for Plex Server.
Frequently Asked Questions
While many Mini PCs can serve as Plex servers, it’s important to ensure that the chosen Mini PC meets the minimum system requirements for running Plex. These requirements typically include a compatible operating system, sufficient processing power and storage capacity.
The required storage capacity for a Mini PC Plex server depends on the size of your media library. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to have at least 1 TB of storage space for a small to medium-sized collection. If you have a larger library or plan on storing high-definition content, you may want to consider a Mini PC with higher storage capacity or the ability to connect external storage devices.
Yes, many Mini PCs are capable of handling transcoding for Plex. However, the specific transcoding capabilities can vary based on the Mini PC’s processor and hardware acceleration support. It’s advisable to choose a model with a powerful CPU or one that supports hardware transcoding, such as Intel Quick Sync Video or NVIDIA NVENC, for smoother transcoding performance.
I have mentioned Plex server requirements at the beginning of this post. You can also check the below links that lead to the official site to have a general idea:
– Plex Server Requirements
– CPU for Plex Server
Additionally, it’s beneficial to have a Gigabit Ethernet port for faster network connectivity and multiple USB ports for connecting external devices.
Yes, one of the advantages of a Plex server is its ability to stream media to multiple devices simultaneously. As long as your device is connected to your home network, you can access your Plex library from various devices such as smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, and other computers. However, it’s important to consider the Mini PC’s processing power and network bandwidth to ensure smooth streaming to multiple devices.
In conclusion, when it comes to setting up a powerful and efficient Plex server, a Mini PC can be a game-changer. The compact size, combined with high-performance capabilities, makes Mini PCs an excellent choice for media enthusiasts who prioritize space-saving solutions without compromising on functionality.
Throughout this article, I have discussed some of the best Mini PCs for Plex servers available in the market. Each option offers a unique set of features tailored to meet the demands of a media server.
Remember to assess your specific needs, such as the size of your media library and the number of devices you intend to stream to simultaneously.